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BPM is Not What You Think...and Other Executive Pearls of Wisdom

Appian Contributor
May 27, 2014

If you're new to Business Process Management, don't let the name fool you.BPM is not what you think.

Sure, it's defined by leading analysts as the discipline of managing processes to continually improve agility and business performance outcomes. And yes, that's where BPM's roots lie. But, BPM and the technology that enables it is not limited to what has become an incomplete description.

BPM Addresses Unique Challenges.BPM technologies have expanded the traditional definition to encompass solutions to virtually any business challenge. Case management? Check. CRM? Check. Content managementÖcustomer engagementÖdecision managementÖeven enterprise-, industry-, or department-specific challenges? CheckÖcheckÖcheckÖcheck! And, it's all done expandingawarenessand instillingknowledgeto enable the smartestaction.

The Result Fulfills the Promise of Real Business Impact.By converging data from across enterprise systems, providing context and social insight, and applying it all to process discipline, BPM today makes achieving successful outcomes quicker and easier. And, since process discipline remains squarely at the core of BPM, those outcomes become not just sustainable, but predictable.

Here are some more quick-hit pearls of wisdom to expand your understanding of how BPM is evolving...

1.) BPM is more than automating and optimizing process.

BPM is not just workflow. It is awareness, collaboration, and interactionÖIt is knowledge, information, and contextÖIt is action, work, and outcomes.

BPM today is beyond the traditional definition, and it's rapidly evolving as forward-thinking executives better understand how the lines between IT and business challenges are blurring.

2.) BPM is about predictable, sustainable outcomes.

There has been an evolution in the workplace. In any large enterprise, massive data are dispersed across multiple systems. Though physical distance is considered less of a barrier, different time zones and cultures add layers of complexity to getting things done in the global economy. And that's not to mention how the mobile lifestyle has become engrained in the essence of today's workforce.

This is where today's BPM shines. BPM pulls together disparate information, adds context, encourages collaboration, and instills process discipline.

The result? Predictable. Sustainable. Outcomes.. Faster.

3.) BPM holds unmet promise.

You hear the benefits of BPM from vendor sites, and they sound just like any other B2B technology. But, BPM can deliver value beyond reduced costs, increased efficiency, and process improvements. BPM can:

Drive revenue growthÖ

Advance competitive advantageÖ

Accelerate top-line growth...

Increase regulatory compliance...

Improve customer serviceÖ

Reduce corporate riskÖ

Streamline operationsÖ

And, it has the flexibility to help you address virtually any challenge.

4.) BPM does not have to be a four letter word.

Ever try to roll out ERP software to replace legacy systems? The horror stories are abundant. The problem? It's substantially difficult.

The technology you roll out should align with how your users and your IT organization work. If it does not, you get the frustration at bestÖand the horror stories at worst.

BPM should never equal ERP. It can be easy to installÖeasy to useÖeasy to maintain.

5.) BPM can be successful on-premise and in the cloud. (That is and, not or.)

Don't let anyone steer you one way or the other. You know what's best for your business.

6.) BPM is not an IT project.

It's an organizational commitment to more awareness, greater knowledge, and faster action.

Do you have more insights?How has BPM helped you? What are some innovative applications of BPM that you've implemented at your organization?

Let's start a dialogue!

Zach Messler

Director, Product Marketing